Matthew 18:21-22 Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven.
The truth about forgiveness is that it can be really hard. Sometimes it requires that we keep forgiving the same people and the same hurtful acts over and over again. Anyone with kids want to give an amen?!
Forgiveness requires humbling ourselves. It’s a sacrifice on our part to keep forgiving, but it’s what God wants to see us do. He taught this lesson to Peter and the disciples in the parable told in Matthew 18:21-35. To forgive is to obey God. Look no further than Mark 11:25-26, Colossians 3:13, and Ephesians 4:32 to see this truth. Did you see what was said there? You MUST forgive.
Forgiveness might be hard, but it’s also freeing. Unforgiveness locks us up in a prison of our own making like the servant in the parable. Forgiving restores fellowship with others and with God. When we’ve really experienced being forgiven it’s easier to appreciate it and we’re more driven to forgive others because we know how it feels to be free in that way. To forgive frees both parties involved.
Sometimes, though, we might forget how much we’ve been forgiven and we need to be reminded. All that Christ has done for us to redeem us and restore us to a relationship with God is a beautiful reminder of how much He loves us and how much we should love others. God became a man and lived a perfect, sinless human life and died a painful and humiliating death on a cross to take on our sins and the punishment we deserved. Not only that, He credited us with His righteousness and then rose from the dead three days after His death to go and mediate on our behalf to the Father. Yes, we’ve been forgiven beyond what we can even imagine. The least we can do is forgive others.
This devotional is derived from a sermon message by Matthew J. Cochran. To hear the sermon, follow this link to matthewjcochran.com.